A FATHER who sued a football team after claiming his son had been treated unfairly has been ordered to pay it back after court documents were not received.

Winnersh Rangers was forced to hand over £3,000 when a 10-year-old boy was substituted and his father said it amounted to emotional abuse and racism.

After taking them to court and successfully winning damages, the club revealed it did not attend legal proceedings as it had not been informed.

At an appeal hearing at Reading County Court, it was revealed the court documents were mistakenly sent to Bearwood Recreation Ground, instead of the club's offices.

Phil Chick, Winnersh Rangers FC club secretary, said the club had no idea they had been sued until they had already lost the case.

District Judge Stephen Byass overturned the £3,235 payout and ordered the father, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to return the cash until a new trial can be held and the club can form a defence.

It is understood the parent initially complained to Wokingham Borough Council after his son was taken off while playing for Winnersh Ranger FC's U10s team.

He claimed the substitution was "emotional abuse" and his son had suffered racism, it is understood.

Two separate investigations - including one by Berkshire and Buckinghamshire FA - cleared the club of being in the wrong, the club said.

But the parent took the club to court seeking damages.

The club failed to argue the case in the civil claims court - because they had no idea a hearing was taking place, they claim.

They claim a letter giving staff notice was delivered to their home ground, which doesn't have a post box, and the court ruled in favour of the parent.

Mr Chick said the young player no longer plays for the club.